pp. 364-366

Conventional Wisdom: The Alternate Article V Mechanism for Proposing Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, John R. Vile

Reviewed by James R. Zink

BUY

   Facebook

   Twitter

   E-mail
 

Although all 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution were first approved by Congress and then ratified by the states, Article V of the Constitution also allows for “a convention for proposing amendments.” The convention mechanism has never been used, but frustration with the difficulty of getting amendments through Congress has pushed constitutional reformers to seriously consider this mode of amendment. That there is no precedent for an Article V convention, however, raises questions about the constitutionality and practicality of using conventions to effect limited constitutional change. In Conventional Wisdom, John R. Vile sets out to address these questions, and the result is a valuable work of scholarship of interest to constitutional scholars and political practitioners alike.

Vile confronts the two biggest objections to using Article V conventions to amend the Constitution. First, many argue that Article V does not permit Congress or the states to limit the amendments proposed in an Article V convention, which suggests that the convention mechanism is appropriate only for considering wholesale changes to the Constitution. But Vile adduces evidence showing that many Framers, most notably, Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist, No. 85, understood Article V as allowing for limited conventions. Vile also explains how it came to be

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

From the Archives

LONDON TERRORIST ATTACK

Tactical Advantages of Terror

RICHARD BETTS applies offense-defense theory to explain the intense advantages that terrorist groups have in launching offensive strikes and in exploiting the defenses that a nation can put up in this era of globalization and asymmetric warfare.

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected
newsstand locator
About APS